Published online Jan 15, 2017. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v9.i1.37
Peer-review started: September 18, 2016
First decision: October 21, 2016
Revised: October 25, 2016
Accepted: November 21, 2016
Article in press: November 22, 2016
Published online: January 15, 2017
Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst prognoses among all cancers due to the late manifestation of identifiable symptoms and high resistance to chemo- and radiation therapies. In recent years, a cancer development phase termed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has gained increasing research focus. The process is implicated in tumour metastasis, and emerging evidence suggests EMT also contributes or induces chemoresistance in several cancers. Nevertheless, the applicability of therapeutic targeting of EMT faces many challenges. In this mini-review, we summarise the evidence supporting the role of EMT in pancreatic cancer progression, focusing particularly on its association with chemoresistance.
Core tip: This mini-review examines the role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the development of drug resistant pancreatic cancer and a possible use of this process as a drug target.